From The Restaurant at the End of the Universe:
All around the Restaurant people and things relaxed and chatted. The air was filled with talk of this and that, and with the mingled scents of exotic plants, extravagant foods and insidious wines. For an infinite number of miles in every direction the universal cataclysm was gathering to a stupefying climax. Glancing at his watch, Max returned to the stage with a flourish.
"And now, ladies and gentlemen,'' he beamed, "is everyone having one last wonderful time?"
"Yes," called out the sort of people who call out "yes" when comedians ask them if they're having a wonderful time.
"That's wonderful," enthused Max, "absolutely wonderful. And as the photon storms gather in swirling crowds around us, preparing to tear apart the last of the red hot suns, I know you're all going to settle back and enjoy with me what I know we will find all an immensely exciting and terminal experience."
He paused. He caught the audience with a glittering eye.
"Believe me, ladies and gentlemen," he said, "there's nothing penultimate about this one."
He paused again. Tonight his timing was immaculate. Time after time he had done this show, night after night. Not that the word night had any meaning here at the extremity of time. All there was was the endless repetition of the final moment, as the Restaurant rocked slowly forward over the brink of time's furthest edge --- and back again. This "night" was good though, the audience was writhing in the palm of his sickly hand. His voice dropped. They had to strain to hear him.
"This," he said, "really is the absolute end, the final chilling desolation, in which the whole majestic sweep of creation becomes extinct. This ladies and gentlemen is the proverbial `it'."
He dropped his voice still lower. In the stillness, a fly would not have dared clear its throat.
"After this," he said, "there is nothing. Void. Emptiness. Oblivion. Absolute nothing ..."
His eyes glittered again --- or did they twinkle?
"Nothing ... except of course for the sweet trolley, and a fine selection of Aldebaran liqueurs!"
The band gave him a musical sting. He wished they wouldn't, he didn't need it, not an artist of his calibre. He could play the audience like his own musical instrument. They were laughing with relief. He followed on.
"And for once," he cried cheerily, "you don't need to worry about having a hangover in the morning --- because there won't be any more mornings!"
He beamed at his happy, laughing audience. He glanced up at the sky, going through the same dead routine every night, but his glance was only for a fraction of a second. He trusted it to do its job, as one professional trusts another.
"And now," he said, strutting about the stage, "at the risk of putting a damper on the wonderful sense of doom and futility here this evening, I would like to welcome a few parties."
TBP is scoffing at the prophecies by going on tour as usual:
December 201220 Chicago, IL -- Jazz Showcase
21 Chicago, IL -- Jazz Showcase
22 Chicago, IL -- Jazz Showcase
23 Chicago, IL -- Jazz Showcase
27 Minneapolis, MN -- Dakota Jazz Club
28 Minneapolis, MN -- Dakota Jazz Club
29 Minneapolis, MN -- Dakota Jazz Club
31 New York, NY -- The Village Vanguard
January 201301 New York, NY -- The Village Vanguard
02 New York, NY -- The Village Vanguard
03 New York, NY -- The Village Vanguard
04 New York, NY -- The Village Vanguard
05 New York, NY -- The Village Vanguard
06 New York, NY -- The Village Vanguard
16 St. Louis, MO -- Jazz At The Bistro
17 St. Louis, MO -- Jazz At The Bistro
18 St. Louis, MO -- Jazz At The Bistro
19 St. Louis, MO -- Jazz At The Bistro
20 Columbia, MO -- Blue Note Club
31 Detroit, MI -- Cliff Bell's
01 Appleton, WI -- Laurence Memorial Chapel
02 Pittsburgh, PA -- Manchester Craftsmans Guild
13 Amherst, MA -- Amherst College **
14 Amherst, MA -- Amherst College **
15 Boston, MA -- ICA Theater **
16 Burlington, VT -- Flynn Theater **
17 Portland, ME -- Hannaford Hall & TBD **
Two important links:
Jeremy Denk on Charles Rosen. Denk is Rosen's logical successor as our great classical pianist/writer.
George Colligan on Ana Grace Marquez-Greene. The jazz community has been shocked by this tragedy.